Tumblr, Age 4, Hosts as Many Blogs as WordPress, Age 8. Can We Stop Comparing Them Now?

Welp, Tumblr has caught up to WordPress, Mark Coatney said during an NPR interview yesterday. Tumblr has been hot on WordPress’s trail for a while; now both free blogging platforms host or power about 20 million blogs. “Tumblr now has about the same amount of bloggers as WordPress:  But which ones get more traffic? Guessing the latter,” tweeted social media wunderkind Vadim Lavrusik, formerly of Mashable, now media liaison for Facebook.

We say, who cares? We’re sick of hearing this comparison. Juxtaposing Tumblr and WordPress is like comparing Apple to oranges.com.

O.K., bad joke. How about… Tumblr to WordPress is like Reddit to The New York Observer. They are both places where you can consume content, but one is interactive and the other is passive.

Tumblr is not, at heart, a content management system. The social features–following, reblogging–are so integral to the experience that it’s more appropriate to think of it as a social network. WordPress and Blogger have failed so far to add a sticky social element to their platforms (beyond comments). While it’s true that Tumblr makes a fine front-facing website–this blogger joined Tumblr just because it was prettier than Blogger–most users engage with content through their “dashboard,” the stream of updates similar to Twitter or Facebook’s News Feed.

At the same time, WordPress has about infinity more functionality than Tumblr, between the options built in by default and the wealth of plug-ins that have been written by third-party and open source developers.

Tumblr isn’t a blogging platform; it’s a social network. WordPress isn’t social; it’s a blogging platform.

Second reason we’re sick of hearing Tumblr and WordPress pitted against each other: Many people use both! Tumblr is more for personal blogging, while WordPress is better for a more professional presentation. Even the Tumblr hater who is heading to China to start a Tumblr competitor has his professional sites powered by WordPress and his personal bloggings powered by Tumblr. Tumblr, Age 4, Hosts as Many Blogs as WordPress, Age 8. Can We Stop Comparing Them Now?